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Luisk is a fantastic name for a witty designer. It means sharpening stone, water stone or whetstone, used to grind and hone the edges of steel tools and implements. It turns out that although it's sometimes mistaken as a reference to the water often used to lubricate such stones, "whetstone" is a compound word formed from the word "whet," which means to sharpen a blade, not "wet". The process of using a sharpening stone (luisk) is called stoning (luiskamine, luisu- või luisu-kiviga teritamine).


I grew up in California as an Estonian-American. Despite the fact that only my father was Estonian, my parents were unusually avid: my mother learned Estonian from him and they raised us together in an Estonian-speaking household, with a strong sense of identification with Estonia. Before I was three years old, I knew how to respond when someone asked: „Veervay? What kind of name is that?” „Estonian,” I’d say. And when the nearly inevitable question – what kind of a language is that? – came up, I knew well that my mother often answered „It’s close to Finnish.”


We invite all who share a love of Estonia and Estonian culture to KLENK 2011, which will be held Friday-Saturday, January 6-7, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Florida. We plan to start late Friday afternoon and continue all day Saturday and Saturday evening. The annual KLENK business meeting will be held Sunday morning, January 8, 2012. Founded in 1958, this will be the 54th year that KLENK (Estonian Society of the Midwest) hosts its annual conference on Estonian culture and fellowship.


Riga, Latvia, Sep. 22.  - The U.S.-Baltic Foundation (USBF) today donated $10 000 to the newly created Baltic Center for Investi-gative Journalism (BCIJ) in Riga.  USBF Board member Ints Silins, former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, made the presentation to BCIJ Director Inga Springe. This grant represents the Center’s initial operating funds and will be used to finance its first two research projects: an investigation of off-shore business and banking practices in the Baltic region; and an inquiry into Russia’s exercise of “soft power” in the Baltic states through financial support to non-governmental organizations.


There are times when we need to recognize non-Estonians, who have positively impacted our communities. This would be the case on October 12, when Casimir Martin Zacharski, Jr., a true friend of Estonians, turns 90. To mark this occasion, I could  write about his growing up in Baltimore as a son of  a Polish-American couple, whose parents on both sides had come from Poland; his pride and appreciation of his Polish heritage and language, which he has retained to this day; his graduation from the renowned City College high school, the Loyola College ( later known as Loyola University), and  the University of Maryland Law School; his service during World War II in India and the Philippines as a US Army Signal Corps officer; his work at the highly respected law firm  O’Connor and Sweeny, where he later became a partner; and his participation in the activities of his church.  But I won’t, because of limited space.  Instead, I will write about his contributions to our community and about Casimir as a person.  


The Kistler-Ritso Foundation, a founder of Tallinn's Museum of Occupations, is donating millions of dollars to the Stanford University Foundation to support education on Estonian history in the United States. Kistler-Risto founded Tallinn's Museum of Occupations in 2003, at the request of the Estonian government. "[I]ts purpose is to show future generations how terrible the decades of Soviet rule were, a time when no one was allowed to believe in a free and independent Estonia," wrote Cambridge historian Peter Martland in a privately published volume on the family's history, Footprints in the Sands of Time.


Washington, DC – The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) announ-ced that it will hold its Fall Advocacy Day on Wednes-day, October 5, 2011.   The Estonian American National Council (EANC) and Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) are both members of the CEEC and urge Estonian Americans throughout the United States to participate in this event.  Please contact your local Congressmen on or near October 5 by email or telephone, if you cannot be at the event in Washington, and tell them that you are supporting the CEEC Advocacy Day and its positions, and requesting Congressional action as discussed in the policy paper below.  

On Friday, 9 September, Marina Kaljurand, the new Estonian Ambassador to the United States, presented her credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.
In a conversation that followed the presentation ceremony, President Obama welcomed Marina Kaljurand as the first female Estonian ambassador in Washington. He also expressed his satisfaction that relations between Estonia and the U.S. are very good and that the countries are cooperating in many important fields of activity. Obama expressed his hope that this cooperation will continue and asked to have his greeting forwarded to President Ilves.


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